Key Saied adviser quits as Tunisia interior minister

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Tunisian Interior Minister Taoufik Charfeddine, a close aide to President Kais Saied, announced on Friday that he had resigned to spend more time with his children following the death of his wife last year.

Charfeddine, 54, who had been in his post since October 2021, told reporters he wanted to thank the president for “understanding and allowing me to discharge my duties”.

The Minister’s wife died in a fire caused by a gas leak in her house in June last year.

A former lawyer, Charfeddine was a central figure in the election campaign that propelled the little-known Said to the presidency in 2019.

After Saeed froze parliament and dismissed the then government as part of a dramatic move in July 2021 against the individual democracy that emerged from the Arab Spring uprisings, Charfeddine became a close adviser .

As the president pushed through major changes to the country’s political system, focusing almost on absolute power in his office, Charfeddine was one of the most overlooked defenders of his power.

Saied’s office released video footage of the meetings the two men regularly have in the presidential palace.

On March 8, more than 30 Tunisian non-governmental organizations demanded an apology from the minister after he was branded as “traitors” by many critics of the President in the private sector, media and trade unions.

They accused him of using “the language of threat and intimidation” to “divide” among Tunisians as part of a “dangerous populist discourse that gives the impression of a police state” similar to that thrown out in the country’s uprising in 2011.

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